Feature Photo: Offshore drilling platforms in dock at Harbor Island. Image: Google Streets.
Corpus Christi (Nueces County) — The Port of Corpus Christi Commission last week approved a 50-year lease agreement for 200 acres on Harbor Island that will result in construction of a state-of-the-art petroleum export terminal.
The long-term lease is between the port authority and Lone Star Ports LLC–a joint venture between The Carlyle Group and The Berry Group, according to a March 28 joint statement of the Port of Corpus Christi Authority and the joint venture partners.
Plans for the Lone Star Ports’ Harbor Island facility are to design it to be the deepest draft safe harbor crude export facility in the United States of America once it is commissioned.
Upon completion,the facility’s two docks will have access to the improved 56-foot ship channel depth. The H1-B/C terminal will be the first to enjoy the benefits of the port’s channel improvement project (the current depth is 47 feet), and a widening of the channel from 400 feet at its narrow point to 530 feet, plus barge shelves.
The lease agreement became attractive because of the expansive growth in the Eagle Ford and Permian Basin crude oil and natural gas fields and growing demand in general, particularly in Asia Pacific. The Lone Star Ports’ terminal will be the nation’s first and only onshore terminal capable of fully loading Suezmax vessels and nearly full loading Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs).
In February, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded the first dredging contract for the Corpus Christi Ship Channel Improvement Project to the largest U.S. dredging company, Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co. In addition to the channel dredging, GLDD will dredge the rest of the harbor to a depth of 54 feet.
“This long-term commitment is a testament to the significance of the Corpus Christi gateway for American energy exports, which are expected to triple in the next decade,” said Sean Strawbridge, the port authority’s chief executive officer.
The lease agreement positions the port to be the preferred outlet for US-produced crude exports serving all major global demand centers for generations, Strawbridge said.
Civil works for the facility repurposing project have been underway for the past year; this includes the demolition of existing dock structures from a previous decades old Exxon crude import terminal on Harbor Island. The new lease enables the parties to commence major equipment and materials procurement and other construction efforts.
The new terminal is estimated to bring the port authority between $2 billion and $4 billion over the life of the lease.
This article was edited from a PACC press release and other PACC documents.